I began by drawknifing the spindle blanks so they are square in cross section.
You can probably see that the spindle is a bit crooked. This is intentional: The idea is to rigorously follow the grain, even when it curves, so that the strength of the piece is not compromised. If necessary, the spindle can be bent later.
The drawknife is very aggressive, and makes a lot of shavings. My wife suggests that I display this as a piece of installation art:
Next, the spindles are tapered, and the edges chamfered to form octagons.
Now the spindles go up into the attic to dry for a couple months. It's good and hot up there, and I've installed a duct fan for ventilation, effectively turning the attic into a low temperature kiln. Time to turn (no pun intended) my attention to fixing up my old Craftsman lathe, so I can rough-turn the legs and stretchers.